The age at which you will be accepted as a blood donor depends on where in Sweden you live.
Blood is a natural resource and when stores begin to get low, centres appeal to the public to donate.
But if you are too old, you may not be welcome – the maximum age for giving blood varies considerably between various parts of the country, a survey by TV4 Nyheterna has shown.
For foreign residents, it is also worth keeping in mind that recent travel abroad and being able to speak Swedish may affect whether you are able to give blood.
- Foreigners must speak Swedish to donate blood – but this could be about to change
- English-speakers will soon be able to donate blood in Stockholm
From the age of 65, an annual doctors’ approval is required before you give blood, but regional authorities can also set their own rules.
In Jämtland, the age limit is set at 60 years, while Dalarna, Blekinge, Örebro, Södermanland, Stockholm, Kronoberg and Gotland have no upper age limits.
The WHO states on its website that most people aged between 18 and 65 can give blood if they are in good health, but that “in some countries, regular donors over the age of 65 may be accepted at the discretion of the responsible physician. The upper age limit in some countries is 60”.
“The regions are self-governing (on this issue), so each one decides to do what’s best for that region,” consultant doctor Maria Held of the Halland Region health authority told TV4.
“(In Halland), we have chosen an age limit of 70 years because we have good access to blood and good donor recruitment. We hope that people over 70 years old will find other ways to contribute to society,” Held said.
Blood stocks can dwindle during holiday seasons as well as at weekends. Red blood cells can be stored at refrigerated temperatures for a maximum of 42 days, while platelets must be used within 5-7 days.
The maximum ages for blood donation across Sweden’s regions are as follows:
- 60 years: Jämtland
- 65 years: Jönköping
- 70 years: Halland, Östergötland, Västernorrland, Kalmar
- 75 years: Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Skåne
- 80 years: Gävleborg, Uppsala, Västmanland, Värmland
- No upper limit: Dalarna, Blekinge, Örebro, Södermanland, Stockholm, Kronoberg and Gotland.
- In the West Götaland region, age limits are set by individual blood centres and range from 65 years to no limit at all.